Where the name ST-36 comes from

ST-36 #足三里 is the acupuncture point the page and website are named after. Where is it located?

1 hand breadth below the knee cap and 1 finger breadth to the outside of the shin bone.

Today a little mini Moxa to nourishlifeyangsheng 养生 on ST36.

You can rub it 擦, press it 按, massage it 摩, kneed it 揉 to nourish life.

Check out www.st-36.com for more about #TheArtOfNourishingLife

Chinese Steamed Egg - 蒸蛋

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Simple, delicious and easy to make, steamed egg can be found on the dinner table in rural China as well as in high end restaurants.  It’s simplicity and delicate texture make it a true culinary delight.  It is important to get good quality eggs.  The fresher the better.  More organic the better. 

 

The ingredients: Eggs, Water, Salt

Garnishes: Sesame Oil, Seasoned Soy Sauce, Chopped Green Onion

Materials: Steamer

The bowl I used was a large soup bowl.  There are many recipes online that you can go to as a reference.  I like to cook on feel, experience and trial and error rather than to give a recipe.  When cooking there are a lot of variables to consider.  As in life, there is no perfect recipe.  Everyone has different tools and products to work with.  We need to be flexible and learn to work with what we are given.

Simple procedure:  

Crack open the eggs and beat.  Add in a nice pinch of salt.  Mix in cold water.  Place in steamer a steam.

*** There is a trick to make sure that your dish comes out nice and silky smooth.  As the eggs steam, you should check on them every 3-5 minutes.  With a chop stick, gently tap open the cooked layer on top to expose the uncooked egg below.  You may need to do this 2 or 3 times before the egg is fully cooked.  If you skip this step you may end up with a firmer egg that may also resemble scrambled egg near the sides.  The egg may rise as it is steaming and the breaking open of the top layer will help prevent over cooking. ***

The dish is finished cooking when you gently poke it with a chop stick and no uncooked egg comes to the surface.  Also, when you lightly shake the bowl, the egg should gently shake like jelly.

Carefully remove it from the steamer and drizzle sesame oil, soy sauce and chopped green onions on top and you are ready to go!        

Tossed Lotus Root - 凉拌藕片

Lotus Root

Sweet and crisp, Lotus Root is very popular in China.  The different parts of the lotus plant can be used for culinary and medicinal purposes.  In the previous post I used the Lotus Seeds in the Yin Er Lian Zi Mu Gua Tang. Today I am showing you a straight up culinary preparation of the lotus root. 

In Chinese we call this, 凉拌藕片 (Liángbàn ǒu piàn) or tossed lotus root.

The lotus root is slightly warming in temperature when it is cooked.  Here in this presentation it has been blanched in salted water then tossed in Chinese culinary sauces.  Lotus Root can help benefit the digestive system, relieve diarrhea and help nourish blood and blood stasis.  It can be found year round but it is most often eaten in the summer months as it can be helpful in dispelling summer heat.

Yin Er Lian Zi Mu Gua Tang - White Wood Ear Lotus Seed and Papaya Soup

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Herbal Soups

Herbal Soup are taken in Chinese culture as a means of Yang Sheng or to Nourish Life and they taste good.

The ingredients in this wonderful soup all have medicinal value. The ingredients have their own individual characteristics and properties that make them usful in this delicous nourishing life soup.

Understanding the functions of the ingredients in the soup can help us to better understand when is the best time to prepare and eat it.  Let start by breaking down the ingredients.

Yin Er (White Wood Ear)

The color is white.  In the 5 element theory white’s element is Metal.  The corresponding organ is the Lung and the season is Autumn.  Autumn is the transition from the late summer months to winter.  The air is dry and it is a time of harvest.  The Yin Er or White Wood Ear has an affiliation with the Lungs and the Stomach.  It helps to promote and generate fluids, therefore; it is useful when a dry, nonproductive cough is present. 

Lian Zi (Lotus Seeds)    

Although the Lotus Seeds are also white, they have more of affiliation with the Heart, Kidney and Spleen.  The Lotus seeds are sweet and astringing.  So they are useful when there is a poor appetite and case of chronic diarrhea.  They also help in stabilizing the male and female reproductive organs as well as help calm anxiety and help with insomnia.

Mu Gua (Papaya)    

Warm and sour, the Papaya helps to transform dampness in the body and alleviate cramping.  It is helpful with digestion by reducing food stagnation.  While the White Wood Ear is working on generating more fluids, the Papaya is working on preventing any loss of Qi and fluids.

Da Zao (Dried Dates)             

The Dried Dates in this soup also compliment and help with generating fluids in the body.  They help to tone the Qi and Blood.  The dates add a natural sweetness to the soup.

 

To make the soup it is rather simple but does require some care so not to burn.  The White Wood Ear and the Lotus Seeds needs to be soaked in water for at least 1 hour.  This can be prepared a day in advance.

Once rehydrated and soft, the Wood Ear can be further rinsed and washed.  Break into pieces and place in a pot or slow cooker together with the Lotus Seeds and Dried Dates and then cover with water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low.  After cooking on low for 45 minutes or so can then add the large diced Papaya and cook for another 15 minutes.  As the Wood Ear cooks the soup will begin to become think and gelatinous.  At this time if it is becoming too think then add more water as needed. 

Once finished the soup can be finished off with a touch of rock sugar if desired.  It is suggested to be served warm but you could eat it at room temperature or chilled if you prefer. 

So whether you need help with a stubborn dry cough or want help with poor appetite and food stagnation or just looking to try something new, Yin Er Lian Zi Mu Gua Soup is always a pleasant treat.